Carson Carving Out A Role

Matt Carson has definitely made the most of his first season in Triple-A. He's shown that he can hit for average with some power, all while coming off the bench. He also has the ability to play every outfield position and work as a pinch runner. The 27 year-old has made himself into a role-player, but the only thing left for Carson to figure out is where he will be on Opening Day 2009.

"I think my hitting improved the most this year," Carson said. "I don't really mean for power, but more for average.

"In the past I haven't really been much of an average hitter, but this year I picked that up a little bit. It was from working with Butch [Wynegar], James Rowson and Tom Wilson."

Carson has become a much more polished hitter since his 2007 season with Double-A Trenton. Although his 16 home runs and 34 doubles made his .248 batting average more tolerable last year, Carson put in the time to become a more selective and aggressive hitter during his stint with Scranton.

"I think it was a combination of tweaking my setup and being more aggressive at the plate," he opined. "That's what helped me hit for a better average this year."

The work he put in obviously paid off. Carson hit .289 with 26 extra-base hits in 84 games for Scranton this season. Hard work was not the only thing that helped Carson put up better numbers at the plate, however.

"I've been a little bit more focus this year than in the past," he admitted. "I have a kid on the way now, a girl due in late November, so it kind of puts things into perspective. It also helps you work a little harder."

Carson is a unique player. The 27 year-old can hit for average, and he has displayed some power and can steal a base when needed. He's lacking in the plate discipline department, but he more than makes up for that with his defense in the outfield.

He's also shown that he is both willing and efficient as a bench player.

"I showed the organization that I'm a player with versatility," Carson said. "I showed that I can play all three outfield positions and I think I showed them that I can be a valuable player off the bench.

"I'm not playing everyday, but still getting the job done. I've carved out a fourth outfielder role, but I think I showed that I can play with a good attitude and play well no matter what the situation."

In the eyes of many, Carson has shown that he can be a valuable role-player, and a valuable commodity for a team with open 40-man roster space. Unfortunately, the Yankees do not have the luxury of space and Carson could become a free agent after the season if the organization does not add him to the roster.

"Next season I am basically looking for a good job somewhere," he said. "I don't know what is going to happen with the Yankees this year, but I want to get myself in the right situation and apply what I learned at the plate this year into next year, and improve on that."

Of course, that could make a difficult winter for the 27 year-old, but Carson knows how to audition for teams.

"I'd like to get some time to go down to Venezuela and play some ball there. I've talked to a lot of guys that are up in the big leagues now and pretty much every one of them, as one point or another, has played winter ball. So, for my career, I think it's an important step to go down there and play."

With the emergence of Brett Gardner and Justin Christian, aside from the acquisition of Xavier Nady, the Yankees will look to have a very competitive and very crowded outfield next season.

Carson is a valuable player, and he has the makeup of a solid fourth outfielder. The Yankees would be smart to possibly retain the outfielder in order to make sure insurance is only a phone call away.

"I learned that no matter what happens, you can only worry about what you can control. In baseball there are a lot of things, like roster moves and different things like that, stuff you can't control.

"No matter how you are playing, they have an idea of what they want to do with you and with other people, and you just have to hang with them and do your best to control what you can control."

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\r\n \r\n\r\n\"I think my hitting improved the most this year,\" Carson said. \"I don't really mean for power, but more for average.
\r\n
\r\n\"In the past I haven't really been much of an average hitter, but this year I picked that up a little bit. It was from working with Butch [Wynegar], James Rowson and Tom Wilson.\"
\r\n
\r\nCarson has become a much more polished hitter since his 2007 season with Double-A Trenton. Although his 16 home runs and 34 doubles made his .248 batting average more tolerable last year, Carson put in the time to become a more selective and aggressive hitter during his stint with Scranton.
\r\n
\r\n\"I think it was a combination of tweaking my setup and being more aggressive at the plate,\" he opined. \"That's what helped me hit for a better average this year.\"
\r\n
\r\nThe work he put in obviously paid off. Carson hit .289 with 26 extra-base hits in 84 games for Scranton this season. Hard work was not the only thing that helped Carson put up better numbers at the plate, however.
\r\n
\r\n\"I've been a little bit more focus this year than in the past,\" he admitted. \"I have a kid on the way now, a girl due in late November, so it kind of puts things into perspective. It also helps you work a little harder.\"
\r\n
\r\nCarson is a unique player. The 27 year-old can hit for average, and he has displayed some power and can steal a base when needed. He's lacking in the plate discipline department, but he more than makes up for that with his defense in the outfield.
\r\n
\r\nHe's also shown that he is both willing and efficient as a bench player.
\r\n
\r\n\"I showed the organization that I'm a player with versatility,\" Carson said. \"I showed that I can play all three outfield positions and I think I showed them that I can be a valuable player off the bench.
\r\n
\r\n\"I'm not playing everyday, but still getting the job done. I've carved out a fourth outfielder role, but I think I showed that I can play with a good attitude and play well no matter what the situation.\"
\r\n
\r\nIn the eyes of many, Carson has shown that he can be a valuable role-player, and a valuable commodity for a team with open 40-man roster space. Unfortunately, the Yankees do not have the luxury of space and Carson could become a free agent after the season if the organization does not add him to the roster.
\r\n
\r\n\"Next season I am basically looking for a good job somewhere,\" he said. \"I don't know what is going to happen with the Yankees this year, but I want to get myself in the right situation and apply what I learned at the plate this year into next year, and improve on that.\"
\r\n
\r\nOf course, that could make a difficult winter for the 27 year-old, but Carson knows how to audition for teams.
\r\n
\r\n\"I'd like to get some time to go down to Venezuela and play some ball there. I've talked to a lot of guys that are up in the big leagues now and pretty much every one of them, as one point or another, has played winter ball. So, for my career, I think it's an important step to go down there and play.\"
\r\n
\r\nWith the emergence of Brett Gardner and Justin Christian, aside from the acquisition of Xavier Nady, the Yankees will look to have a very competitive and very crowded outfield next season.
\r\n
\r\nCarson is a valuable player, and he has the makeup of a solid fourth outfielder. The Yankees would be smart to possibly retain the outfielder in order to make sure insurance is only a phone call away.
\r\n
\r\n\"I learned that no matter what happens, you can only worry about what you can control. In baseball there are a lot of things, like roster moves and different things like that, stuff you can't control.
\r\n
\r\n\"No matter how you are playing, they have an idea of what they want to do with you and with other people, and you just have to hang with them and do your best to control what you can control.\"
\r\n
\r\n

\r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n\r\n
\r\n

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\r\n

\r\n

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